A Journey to the Edge of War and Peace

A Journey to the Edge of War and Peace

by Laurie Barrett on Jan 30, 2023

A note from Monica:

Last November, Seascape Capital invited Mariana Budjern, a gifted Senior Research Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center to speak at an event we hosted at the One Hundred Club. She spoke about the war in Ukraine and the influence of nuclear weaponry on the balance of power.

What made her presentation so intriguing and relevant—besides that her doctoral thesis had analyzed the forces that led to Ukraine’s 1994 nuclear disarmament—was that she was Ukrainian. Her book, on the topic, Inheriting the Bomb, became available in December.

The audience sat engrossed in her presentation and couldn’t stop asking questions when she finished her prepared remarks. Mariana and I have kept in touch. I would like to think we will remain friends for a long time. After Christmas in the US, she returned to Ukraine to celebrate the holidays with her family and friends there. Upon her return to the states, she sent me a link to an essay she wrote documenting the very poignant and often visceral experiences of her trip. Holidays in a war-torn country still fighting for its freedom….not exactly a storybook scene.

Whether or not you were able to attend our event, I invite you to read her account of the courageous and resilient people of Ukraine who make up her family and friends. It can’t help but strengthen your belief in the human spirit.

Click here to read Mariana's essay.